Cave Junction man dies in early-morning house fire

A 57-year-old Cave Junction resident died this morning in a fire that consumed his home on Ollis Road.

Kendell Wayne Phillips and his wife, Tammie Phillips, 54, woke to the sound of a smoke alarm at 3 a.m. and saw a fire burning in their laundry room, Oregon State Police said in a news release.

They called 911 and exited the home, but for an unknown reason Kendell Phillips went back inside the burning residence and succumbed to the smoke and heat, OSP said.

Illinois Valley Fire District crews extinguished the fire. The district was assisted in the investigation by OSP arson experts.

They determined the fire was caused by a faulty extension cord plugged into an air conditioner, OSP said.

The home was declared a loss by fire officials, OSP said.

K.W. Phillips was a local historian who had written a book about Josephine County cemeteries.

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